Looking for a cool new way to exercise both mind and body?
You might want to try geocaching, the fast-growing sport that’s akin to a modern-day treasure hunt.
Instead of a worn old map marked with an X, you use a GPS receiver, a set of coordinates and (optional), clues. And instead of hunting for a buried chest, you’re looking for a cache of goodies hidden in an eco-friendly site above ground.
For those of you unaware of the game, here’s a short breakdown:
Caches are hidden by fellow geocachers who put together a hodgepodge of trinkets, a logbook and pen or pencil, and perhaps a disposable camera. This hoard is then stuffed into a weatherproof box and hidden under a rock, behind a tree or maybe even in a more urban locale.
The geographical coordinates of these containers—some no bigger than a film canister—are posted on Web sites for fellow geocachers to follow. Caches often use a 5-star system to rate the level of difficulty and the terrain.
Now you can get in on the action right here in Taos, thanks to the LOR Foundation!
The LOR Foundation was founded in 2007 on the simple premise that communities can find economic prosperity without sacrificing what they love about the place they call home.
To get there, LOR provides locals with the resources to tackle problems using solutions that fit the community’s character.
LOR takes into account both the unrivaled beauty as well as the complexity of the rural West, and believes the best solutions are firmly rooted in the communities who understand this nuance and who only need the resources to make themselves stronger.
Jake Caldwell ( a graduate of Taos High School, with a BA in Biochemistry from the Colorado College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law), has been a program officer for the LOR Foundation since August 2014.
Jake began practicing law in Taos in 2000. Passionate about protecting and preserving the landscape and way of life he grew up with here and in other rural landscapes like Taos, he is a member of the New Mexico State Bar and the US District Court for the District of New Mexico.
LOR collaborates with advocates, experts, and other philanthropic organizations, to extend their reach, helping to bring rural perspectives to national attention. Listening to people who have a vision for the future of their community, LOR then assists in co-creating solutions to everyday problems and share the insights with others.
The Foundation seeks to elevate the rural voice, while using an evidence-based approach that continuously informs how they choose partner with communities to improve quality-of-life and build on local assets.
LOR have been on the ground in Taos County, assisting with the impact of wild fires on our rural communities (you can read about it on their site linked below this post), and starting July 17, 2019, the LOR Foundation is asking you to #expLOReTaos while you search for geocaches and upload photos to social media to win cash for organizations working to improve the quality of life aqui en Taos!
I think we can all get behind that cause!
The game itself is a lot of fun and transcends geographic, political, gender and age boundaries. Geocache sites range from easy to challenging, and their level of difficulty is indicated alongside the cache’s coordinates for easy access.
A few rules apply, although still evolving, geocaching follows a few fundamental guidelines. Among them: Do not place caches on private land without permission or in national parks or wilderness areas at all, do not cross private property without permission to reach a geocache, do not include offensive or inflammatory material in a cache.
And most importantly, maintain a “tread softly” and Leave No Trace philosophy.
It goes without saying that Geocaching and GPS units go hand in hand. Even the most basic of units is enough to track down the location of a geocache, but to get a visual of the area you’ll be searching, a map is a must. Your GPS can tell you the straight line between 2 points, but unless the route’s waypoints have been preloaded into your unit, only a map can show you that tiny pathway between you and your destination!
Now you have the gist of it, there’s no excuse not to get outdoors and get in the game!
The LOR Foundation’s Geocache event – #expLOReTaos – happens from July 17 – September 10, 2019, beginning with a festive launch at Rio Fernando Park.
LOR have partnered with the Taos Land Trust, Amigos Bravos, the PASEO , Twirl and several others in the community (see all by visiting the sites linked below this post), to bring this fun event to Taos.
To sign up, go to the site linked below and please visit the LOR Foundation’s site as well, to discover more about what they do out here in the Wild West!
All images Stock Files